The United States will seek to extradite 22 people arrested in Romania and accused of massive fraud on e-commerce sites eBay.com and Craiglist.org, the US ambassador to Romania said on Friday.
“Romanian law enforcement authorities conducted 117 searches targeting over 100 suspects,” Ambassador Mark Gitenstein told a press conference.
“Twenty-two individuals have been charged in the United States. The United States will seek to extradite these criminals to face criminal charges once they have been processed by the Romanian justice system.”
He said he deplored the fact that the accused often posed as US military personnel as part of their scheme to dupe their victims in all 50 US states.
According to Romanian prosecutors, between 2009 and 2011, the suspects duped online buyers into paying out around 20 million dollars for fictitious goods including cars, motorbikes, and electronics on http://www.eBay.com and on http://www.craiglist.org.
Money paid by the victims was collected abroad, mainly in the United States and then sent to Romania, they added.
Several cybercrimes networks operating from Romania have been dismantled in the last years, often with the help of US cybercrime experts.
“Our work together could serve as a model for international law enforcement cooperation on many fronts. The arrests that were made could not have been possible without real-time collaboration and intelligence sharing”, Gitenstein said, adding that FBI agents are embedded with the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime in Romania for five years.
This article was published by AFP on July 15, 2011.
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